Donald Trump said the police killing of a self-proclaimed Antifa member and suspected murderer was “retribution,” despite reports that the suspect was not threatening and did not fire at police before he was shot.
Meanwhile, the west coast wildfires are driving air pollution off the charts, increasing the misery of people safe in their homes as well as the thousands of displaced evacuees.
And lastly, the ambush shooting of two L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies has put the city on edge, as police responded by brutally arresting a clearly-identified journalist reporting on the event.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Trump Says Cop Killing Was "Retribution"
Donald Trump added one final escalation to the politically fraught story of Michael Forest Reinoehl, a self-proclaimed anti-fascist who was suspected of the murder of a right-wing protester in Portland on August 29.
Last week, Reinoehl was shot dead by federal agents who arrived ostensibly to arrest him. We discussed some of the particulars of this case on Friday: Reinoehl had previously admitted to the shooting of Trump supporter and far-right militant Aaron Danielson, claiming that the killing was in self defense. Police said their killing of Reinoehl was also justified, saying that he quote “produced a firearm” when confronted by officers. But a witness to the shooting told the Washington post that Reinoehl was just walking to his car, eating a gummy worm when officers arrived and shot him without announcing themselves first.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday Trump said QUOTE: “"This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him. And I'll tell you something—that's the way it has to be. There has to be retribution." ENDQUOTE
This isn’t a surprising thing for the president to say, at this point. But let’s put it in a bit of a broader context. Earlier in the interview Trump noted that he urged federal agents to quote “go get him,” endquote, referring to Reinoehl. Federal agents did his bidding and gunned down Reinoehl in what were at best murky circumstances, at worst in complete cold blood.
Compare this to, say, the arrest of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old militia member who killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was arrested peacefully and gently a day after the incident. What Trump is saying here is that the standard of justice applies differently to violent actors on the left and the right. Politically, Reinoehl was an enemy of the president. And
Trump’s made it clear that he thinks his enemies deserve death at the hands of the state, no due process included.
Smoke Chokes West
The wildfires in the west are not letting up, but we’ve moved to a new phase of the disaster. With thousands displaced from their homes and at least 24 dead, even those who are still safe are dealing with the fallout from record-breaking, inescapable smoke pollution.
The LA Times reports that ozone pollution levels spiked to their worst point since the mid 1990s this weekend in the city. Meanwhile, in Washington State, air pollution from the wildfire smoke got so bad it temporarily broke the data systems monitoring it, as the computer rejected the values it was taking in as unrealistically high. Visibility in Portland, Oregon, was only 50 feet in some areas.
For people living through it, this means respirators or N95 masks are almost essential for going outside. It’s also provoked a massive run on indoor air purifiers, leading some people to try to DIY their own with HVAC filters and box fans.
The battle lines are also being drawn in the political fight over the fires as well. Donald Trump and the GOP largely blame the fires on poor forest management and leadership, while Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders have placed the focus squarely on climate change.
In reality, it’s a bit of both: fire management has been poor across the West Coast for decades, thanks to an unreasonable focus on fire prevention and suppression in areas that have evolved to burn every few years, but the changing weather and unreasonably high temperatures have also contributed greatly to the fires.
And of course, this is all for show, as Biden isn’t exactly the greatest supporter of a Green New Deal, and Trump’s calls for “forest management” are mostly an excuse to deregulate big corporations so they can desecrate more federal lands.
LA Sheriffs Rough Up Reporter
Two L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies were shot in an unprovoked ambush on Saturday night, by a gunman who is still at large. The shooting provoked an immediate response from police, who clashed with protesters outside the hospital where the two deputies were being treated, and then went on to rough up and detain a credentialed reporter trying to do her job on the scene.
It’s a chaotic situation, so we’ll try to sum it up. There’s three incidents at play here that contribute to the recent tension. On Friday, deputies in riot gear showed up in force and surrounded a peaceful press conference by activists protesting the killing of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old who was killed after officers stopped him while he was riding a bicycle. On Saturday
night, an unknown gunman shot two deputies who were sitting in a parked patrol car. After the officers were rushed to the hospital, a small group of demonstrators gathered there to continue pressuring the department on its misconduct. That’s when things got really hairy: as cops pushed the protesters away from the hospital, they also swept up a local reporter, Josie Huang, who works for KPCC and LAist.
The Sheriffs roughly detained Huang, who was clearly identified as press and who captured video of herself shouting that she was press to the officers, and then arrested her for obstruction of justice. She was in custody for over five hours.
The event has provoked an immediate outcry from press freedom advocates across the country, but it’s not really something out of the ordinary, considering police department’s across the country have been roughing up journalists all summer. The L.A. Sheriffs Department has just made it clear that they don’t particularly care for any part of the first amendment, whether it’s protesters or press.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
After a strange bidding war ignited by tweets from the president criticizing it’s ties to China, the viral video app TikTok will likely sell its American operations to the big tech firm Oracle, if the White House approves. Oracle beat out Microsoft and other U.S. companies to nab the app.
Donald Trump held his first indoor rally since June 20 in Nevada on Sunday, showing that while he may have taken a mid-summer break from actively spreading the coronavirus, we are fully back in business this fall.
Israel is headed for a second strict lockdown as its coronavirus cases are spiking once again. The country saw over 4,000 new cases in a single day last week, so malls and many other business are shutting down all over again.
OSHA, the government agency meant to protect workers, is going easy on big corporations under Trump, slapping a paltry $13,494 fine on Smithfield Foods for its miserable handling of the coronavirus. Smithfield, for reference, ran facilities where more than 1,294 workers caught the virus, and four died.
That’s all for the Majority Report’s Am Quickie today! Stay tuned for the full show with Sam this afternoon.
Sept 14, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn